He tried to kiss Will Smith. He’s latched on to the crotches of Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt, and he’s crawled under America Ferrera’s dress.
Under ordinary circumstances Vitalii Sendiuk, the former Ukranian television journalist who was fired from his job three weeks ago, would be described with a harsher word than “prankster.” If he was running up and doing this to people in a grocery store parking lot, wouldn’t we just call Sendiuk a pervert?
In his most recent caper at the Hollywood premiere of “Malificent,” Sendiuk made a beeline for Brad Pitt, who described the encounter Monday in a statement made exclusively to “People.” Initial reports indicated that Sediuk had punched Pitt in the face, but it turns out he just broke Pitt’s glasses as he was trying to get up and disentangle himself from the actor.
“I was at the end of the line signing autographs, when out the corner of my eye I saw someone stage-diving over the barrier at me,” Pitt said. “I took a step back; this guy had latched onto my lapels. I looked down and the nutter was trying to bury his face in my crotch, so I cracked him twice in the back of the head — not too hard — but enough to get his attention, because he did let go. I think he was then just grabbing for a hand hold because the guys were on him, and he reached up and caught my glasses.”
Sendiuk ended up breaking the glasses — which could be seen as a silver lining, given the aviators upped the smarm factor on Pitt’s getup by a factor of 10. Stars understand that they’re expected to trade their privacy for fame and success. We even nitpick at their questionable taste in accessories; that’s just how the game works. Most resign themselves to being hounded by paparazzi as long as their children are left alone.
But everyone, even famous people, are allowed some expectation of bodily integrity, no?
Pitt brought up a good point about Sediuk’s behavior, particularly when he tried to crawl under America Ferrera’s dress at a Cannes screening of “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” The expressions on Ferrera’s face moved quickly from shock, to horror, and then anger once she realized that Sendiuk had not only crawled under her dress, but grabbed her ankle and held on when security tried to pull him away.
“I don’t mind an exhibitionist,” Pitt wrote. “But if this guy keeps it up he’s going to spoil it for the fans who have waited up all night for an autograph or a selfie, because it will make people more wary to approach a crowd. And he should know, if he tries to look up a woman’s dress again, he’s going to get stomped.”
Sendiuk knows he’s going to cause a scene, and he knows he’s going to be pulled away by security. He knows he’ll probably be arrested and he continues with his antics, which have also included snatching a microphone from Adele at the Grammys, presumably because he gets some enjoyment out of it. You want red-carpet pranksters? Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of “South Park” and “The Book of Mormon,” are your guys:
Sendiuk pleaded no contest Friday to battery charges stemming from his attack on Pitt. His bail was set at $20,000. A judge ordered that Sendiuk stay away from red carpet events and sentenced him to three years probation, 20 days of community service and a year of counseling.